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Home / Neighborhood / San Gabriel Valley / Pasadena Independent / Arborist Reports Kidspace Tree Fell in Part to Increased Water Uptake

Arborist Reports Kidspace Tree Fell in Part to Increased Water Uptake

by Pasadena Independent
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-Courtesy Photo

-Courtesy Photo

Despite the massive drought, the City of Pasadena is contending with an independent, certified arborist to investigate the sudden collapse of an Italian stone pine tree in front of the Kidspace Museum in Brookside Park. Several factors most likely contributed to the tree’s failure on July 28, one of which was too much water.

Arborist Ted Lubeshkoff of JTL Consultants wrote in a seven-page report that there were many possible contributing factors that may have caused the tree to fall, including absence of anchoring roots, a slight lean in the tree, recent drought conditions and heavy weight due to increased water uptake following recent rains.

Among the observations made by the arborist from his inspection were that the tree was 85 feet tall, it had a trunk diameter of about 42 inches and a canopy width of about 60 feet by 60 feet. He also observed that the tree fell in an easterly direction and that it did not have a root crown on its east side and west side. The tree did not have wide-spreading anchoring roots, but large girdling roots were visible within the uplifted root system. Root rot fungus was also not present. Lubeshkoff also reported that there was historic evidence of fire damage indicated from black charcoal and white ash in a cavity on the underneath side of the tree, possibly from hot barbecue coals. Lastly, he observed the tree had a slight lean.

The arborist noted an increase in water consumption by the tree probably added substantial weight to it after about 0.61 inches of rain occurred on July 19 and July 20, less than ten days prior to its collapse.

“The Italian stone pine probably could not release water as quickly as it was taking water in, causing a substantial increase in weight throughout the tree,” the report noted. “A lean in the tree, by itself, is not necessarily an indicator of an unstable tree.  However, the lean combined with the heavy weight due to increased water uptake and the absence of anchoring roots on the east and west side of the tree most likely contributed to the tree’s instability and failure.”

 

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